Department of Comparative Politics
Stein Rokkan Memorial Lecture

Rokkan Memorial Lecture 2023 - Global Cleavages: Political Conflict across World Regions in Historical Perspective

The Department of Comparative Politics is proud to present Daniele Caramani as the speaker on the 2023 Stein Rokkan Memorial Lecture "Global Cleavages: Political Conflict across World Regions in Historical Perspective"


Main content

The 2023 Stein Rokkan Memorial Lecture employs a macro-historical perspective to examine the territorial and functional cleavages that have been structuring world politics since the 19th century. It theoretically and empirically extends cleavage approaches of political structuring used at the national and European levels to global regional oppositions – core−periphery, North−South and civilizational cleavages – and transnational class, gender and generational alignments. Exit–voice models of social closure, boundary building and centre formation are used to understand the politicization of global inequalities. The replacement of territorial divisions with functional cleavages that cut across world regions and “multiple modernities” based on pre-industrial factors facilitates the emergence of transnational dimensions of contestation, along which cross-regional membership groups organize and build bonds of solidarity. This approach allows conceptualizing supra-national integration in mass politics, rather than technocratic, terms. The lecture presents measures of the territoriality−functionality continuum of global cleavages, which reveal a long-term trend of de-territorialization over the past 180 years. By addressing the historical transformation of global cleavages, Daniele Caramani extends his work on nationalization and Europeanization to the globalization of politics.

Daniele Caramani is Ernst B. Haas Chair in European Governance and Politics at the European University Institute, Florence, and professor at the University of Zurich where he holds the Chair of Comparative Politics. He holds BA and MA degrees from the University of Geneva and a PhD from the European University Institute.

His book on The Nationalization of Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2004) was awarded the Stein Rokkan Prize for Comparative Social Science Research. It was followed by The Europeanization of Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2015). To research the globalization of political cleavages, he has received an ERC Advanced Grant in 2023. On Rokkan's work, Daniele Caramani has written "Stein Rokkan: The Macro-Sociological Fresco of State, Nation and Democracy in Europe," in Masters of Political Science (2011) and the entry "Stein Rokkan" in The Encyclopedia of Political Science (2010). He also translated into Italian State Formation, Nation-Building, and Mass Politics in Europe: The Theory of Stein Rokkan (1999). 

He is also the author of Elections in Western Europe since 1815: Electoral Results by Constituencies (Palgrave 2000, with CD-ROM), later expanded into the Constituency-Level Elections Archive (CLEA), of which he is a founding director, and which has received the APSA Lijphart-Przeworski-Verba Dataset Award. On methodology, he authored Introduction to the Comparative Method with Boolean Algebra (Sage, Quantitative Applications in the Social Sciences 2009) and, for a student readership, he edits the textbook Comparative Politics (Oxford University Press 2023, sixth edition). His articles have appeared in journals such as American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, West European Politics, Party Politics among others.

Stein Rokkan Memorial Lecture
Both abroad and in Norway there has been a number of intiatives to honour the memory of Stein Rokkan for his great contributions in the development of the social sciences after World War II. The Department of Comparative Politics has, since 1981, arranged an annual Stein Rokkan Memorial Lecture as a tribute to his memory.